Sunday, December 5, 2010

irq7 - It's not me EP

This is the first EP released, after my debut-album "Revenge of the Calm". Instead of own compositions, this EP features cover-versions of some of my favorite songs.

All seven Songs were written on my Gameboy(s) Classic using LSDj. Most of the original songs are coming from the Commodore C64- and Amiga - world.

The title-track "Alf" is heavily based on Zalza's brilliant "2204355 Song" which was released in the early days of the internet together with a funny animation. Of course it's also the theme of the TV-series with the same name.

Alf (Gameboy version of Zalza's "2204355 Song") by irq7

My second Track is a typically pushing forward cracktro-tune from the C64 used by Strikeforce. The same is valid for S-Express, but this song was already a cover on the C64 of a late 80ies dancefloor-act.

"Analyzer" is one of these really cewl Amiga-MOD's which consist of just a few patterns which loop to infinity. I also did a extended version of this track using a drum-machine connected to my Gameboy. Another song from the Amiga is "Lost Scrotum" which was programmed on two Gameboys to keep the complexity of this beautiful anthem.

After watching the "Silent Hill" movie, a little sad melody get stuck in my mind and I decided to try a own version. I added some drums which end up in a nice breakbeat - song.

At the end I like to say Thank you! to all the original composers for their songs which touched my soul and made me what I am.

Chiptunes 4 ever!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gameboy Gallery


It is very annoying, if you do a liveset and the your headphone is crackling because of a defective connection (or "Wackelkontakt" in german which is maybe a good bandname for a noiseband =). Anyway - I decided to add two RCA's on the top of my gameboy. There is enough space for the RCA's without the need to remove/cut parts from the inside. I already have a Pro-Sound Modification on the bottom which can be adjusted with the volume-wheel of the Gameboy. So I decided to have a fixed output volume on the RCA's, which can be connect in parallel to the Pro-Sound.
I tried it with two different type of RCA-jacks: The bigger one in gold and the smaller you see in the picture above. It was very complicated to integrate the big gold-jacks in the Gameboy-housing (but the look a lot better =). I had to carefully remove parts of the PCB which took a lot of time, so I recommend the smaller RCA-jacks.

Here is a view from the inside (ignore the strange resistor on the right side - it is use for the backlight-mod).

This is how I connected the Pro-Sound and the RCA's to the volume-control. Please note that the Pro-Sound is connected wrong on the headphone-socket: You have to flip the black with the red wire on the Pro-Sound socket(lower right).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

irq7 live @ Chip Hits The Fan / Nuremberg

What a great 8-Bit event last saturday!
Workshops, tutorials, lectures and many live-acts like Sputnik Booster, Firestarter, Agikakaluna! and Pornologic.
I also had the honour to play a liveset that evening:

Gameboy Workshop for LSDJ

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stylophone Beatbox Mod

This is a Stylophone Beatbox with a small but useful modification. I simple added two push-buttons on the left side. They are in parallel with the rec/play-pads and useful to reduce the delay, when you try to record a new loop.

DMG with half-speed crystal

Here you can see my "half-speed modded" Gameboy with Pro-Sound and white buttons (the simplest way to distinguish the members of my little Gameboy-family). I just replaced the original crystal-oscillator with one running at half-speed (2.097152 MHz). Just like Pro-Sound, it's a simple but very useful modification. On LSDJ you can play now one octave lower, so you can use it for bass-tracks. Surprisingly, the synchronisation with a normal DMG works also very well. The device can be master or as slave. Editing on this Gameboy is not very recommended, because the MMI is running slow as well and the screen flickers heavily. But you can write the tracks on a normal DMG and use the half-speed device just for performing the transposed track.

I tried the noise-generating software "Death Ray" from Pixelh8 on my half-speed DMG.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gameboy with Pitch Mod

This is my first pitch-modded Gameboy. It uses the GetLoFi LTC1799 Precision Oscillator and also include the Pro-Sound modification.

With the potentiometer, you can control the clock seamless.
There is also a switch include to activate the original oscillator, but sometimes LSDJ crash when you try to switch between the different clock-sources.
There is not much space for the poti and switch, so I have to twiddle around to make it fitting.
You can also synchronize the the DMG with unmodded devices.

The transparent housing was a present from a friend of mine. He want me to destroy it on a live-show to pimp-up my performance, but I don't have the heart to do it =)
On the first Video, I use LSDJ and in the second one, the noise-software "Shitwave" is bended.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gameboy Backlight Modification

This is my first backlight-modification for the Gameboy. I ordered the backlight at Project GB. The modification wasn't that easy because a didn't find a link on the product-site to a detailed description. But on the web are a some helpful sites with detailed descriptions (here and here) and also some videos about the modification on youtube.

The trickiest part is to remove the background-foil with a stanley-knife.
Here are all the needed parts including the removed foil (top middle).
The power-led and the resistor R1 is already removed (bottom left).
The big resistor is for the led-panel.

Additionally, I did a Pro Sound modification, but without destroying the original headphone-output. So I add a second headphone-socket on the left side. I also ordered some "black as the night" - buttons at Kitsch Bent plus some replacement screens saying "CHIPMUSIC IN STEREO".

And now.... Let there be light!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Retr0bright - Gameboy Bleaching

I got this four "defect" Gameboy's on eBay for just 20EUR. I bought them in the hope, that I can repair them without a big effort. As you may see on the picture, the 2nd Gameboy looks not very bight. To much sunlight turned him more yellow than the others.
Luckily, I found a method to bleach the yellow-colour away. The project I found on the internet is called Retr0bright and the recipe for the bleaching-paste is based on Hydrogen Peroxide.

I bought the Hydrogen Peroxide and the other ingredients in the pharmacy. I have to left there a copy of my driving-licence, just in case that I build a bomb instead of bleaching a Gameboy =)
Later I mixed everything together using plastic-gloves and eyeglasses for protection.
Then I pasted the gel on the Gameboy-housing and put it under a UV-lamp.
This is what happened...

I'm not 100% satisfied with the result, but the Gameboy looks a _lot_ better now. I think I will try less "Vanish OxyAction" next time. Now you can't really distinguish it from my 1st Gameboy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

irq7 on Austrian TV

Last week I played a set in Villach (Austria) for the Art&Cultureclub Aktion Mutante. I was captured in a short clip on the Austrian public TV-station ORF.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New remix online!

Dingoo + Skero = Turbinenparty!

I did a remix for the FM4-Soundpark of Skero's "Kabinenparty" - a hip-hop summer hit in austian slang, which may can be translated as "Kabinparty" :-P

The original version of the song is unbeatable, so I try a different approach. The whole remix was done with LGPT on my Dingoo. As my remix is far away from the original sound, and maybe remind you on a starting Concorde, I called it "Turbinenparty", which can be translated as (yes you guessed it) "Turbineparty".

You can download the song here!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thingamagoop 2 finished!

Lots of troubles during soldering this lovely sound-robot called "Thingamagoop2". I have to admit that I was very impatient this time, to get this guy working.
First the voltage regulator 78L05 was not included in the kit and I have to take a 7805 as substitute. The 7805 is much bigger and I had to fiddle around to solder it on the PCB.
Next thing was the description in the manual, how to solder the button on the PCB. There is a inconsistency between the picture and the text (the picture is correct, the text wrong). Dr. Bleep told me, that they send me the wrong instruction, so this should not happen to you. Also take care that you do not heat the button up too much when soldering, because the pins are very sensitive (I nearly ruined mine).
At the end I forgot to solder the 2 leads to the switch-pot, which was my failure (RTFM...).

Finally it is working and rocks like hell! I can just recommend this kit which comes with a pre-drilled housing what saves a lot of work. The sound is much complexer than it's forerunner.
I think there are tons of videos already online, but anyway - here is mine =)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

irq7 Radio Interview

(Switching to German ...initializing - los! :-)

Ich war vergangene Woche zu einem Interview in Graz eingeladen. Anlass war die Sendung bitte8bit auf Radio Helsinki, die sich in Folge 63 (shit, Folge 64 knapp verfehlt ;-) meinem Alter-Ego "irq7" widmete. Die Sendung wurde bereits am letzten Dienstag ausgestrahlt. Wer sie versäumt hat und mehr über mein Gameboy-Projekt, meine Vorliebe für den C64 oder die Entstehung der Noizebox erfahren will, kann die Folge anhören oder gleich downloaden. Ich bedanke mich jedenfalls bei "bitte8bit"-Thomas für den tollen Nachmittag in Graz!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New irq7 album "Revenge of the Calm"

I'm very proud to present you the first irq7 album called "Revenge of the Calm". I never learned to play a "real" instrument - so the Gameboy is maybe my first one =) and I never liked the Gameboy nor any other Nintendo console when I was a kid. I had a C64 and I loved the sound of it's soundchip - the SID 8580 (yeah, and _not_ the SID 6581! ;-)

All tracks on the album were made with the software "Little Sound DJ" on a Gameboy Classic, except the beats on "Beast V2.0" are coming from a Korg ES1 linked via MIDI with my Arduinoboy.

The last song is not featured on the web-release, because it covers Trio's "Da Da Da" from the 80's. Track number 7 is heavily inspired from a song by Irene Grabherr of the Gameboymusicclub Vienna. Thanks for the permission Irene!

The album's name "Revenge of the Calm" is pretty old. Years ago, I decided to write a whole album with my first Hardsid. I choose the name of the album and wrote down song-names for each track. Then I started to write a first song which was pretty hard for me and then things came entirely different. The whole set-up of my equipment was too complex for writing just a "quick song". So I decided to get a more mobile and simple hardware which is easier to handle and to take with me. Then I remembered a concert of the Gameboymusicclub and I bought a Gameboy-Classic with a programmable cartridge plus the tracker-based software LSDj. This album contains songs I wrote on this, nearly 20 years old Gameboy over the last 3 years. I released only a few of them in the meantime. For the album, I re-recorded most of them while doing some live-action. Most of the tracks were not mastered at all, as I want to sound them as raw as possible.

Lets the the tracklist:

Each song has it's own story and I want to tell it now to you:
1 Intro7
Initially I wrote Intro7 just for live-performances but I start to like that tune and decided to put it on the album. This is the time to turn up the volume!

2 Train
This track was mainly produced riding a train and parts of it even in a plane to Helsinki.

3 Skin
A short, but funky tune with a catchy melody. With this song I started to play more instruments within one voice.

4 Break
I love appegios - the chords for "the poor". They meet a melancholic melody and build together a very dancy tune.

5 Acidboy
Instead of following the invitation to a techno-party in Italy, I produced this track. I'm not very into techno, but I like the sounds that can be made with the noise-channel of the Gameboy.

6 Beast v2.0
Beast v1.0 was shit, so Mr. Frankenstein goes back to his laboratory and create a new mutant. Three evil machines helped him to make it alive. The Gameboy, the Korg-ES1 and the Arduinoboy which connect their brains together. And now be afraid, be very afr...aarggg!

7 Rambazamba
I heard this lovely song from Irene Grabherr only two or three times. She was playing it live on a Nintendo DS. As I couldn't find it on the net, I decided to make my first cover-song just out of some memory fragments I had of the track.

8 Star
I was experimenting with basslines for a drum'n'bass song. The result was pretty different.

9 2nd Gen
One of my elder songs and an atypical rhythm too. I did some live-action during the recording to make it sound different from the original version.

10 irq7
A short try on the minimalistic speech-synthesis of LSDj. The robot say's "I R Q 7" at the beginning of this song.

11 Workshop
I was visiting a Gameboy-Workshop in Linz and ask one nice guy of the GBMC I he can tell me how to make a good bassdrum. I came back with the new bassdrum and did this teutonic techno song. Dance my puppets!